Review: Maximize Your Potential With The Strengths Book Series
If you've been wondering what you're good at or what strengths can improve your career, we'll review StrengthsFinder 2.0 to discover where your strengths lie with a bonus review of Entrepreneurial StrengthFinder.
Recently, I purchased a number of books that I've been wanting to read and review, but as you can tell by my coding articles in the past 2-3 weeks, I've been neglecting my reading material.
I thought today I would focus on reviewing this gem of a book called StrengthsFinder 2.0.
When I first read the description on the back of this book, I was immediately teleported back to the days of my Commodore 64 with a program called Mind Prober.
In Mind Prober, a candidate would answer close to 80 questions and they would receive a report that described their personality and what makes them tick. It was a very interesting analysis of that person's psyche.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 is similar, but instead of a complete personality profile, it focuses and leverages an individual's strengths.
The book is small (174 pages) and can be completed in less than an hour, but the results can be inspiring.
StrengthsFinder is one-third reading and two-thirds reference material. In the beginning of the book, it describes how to find our inner strengths and, more to the point, complete a series of questions to find out your true strengths with an action plan.
From page 32 to the end of the book, StrengthsFinder describes each of the 34-themed strengths that could be hidden inside of you.
Determining Your Strengths
The meat of the book, ironically, is the online question-and-answer quiz on their website to determine your strengths and return a report to you.
StrengthsFinder 2.0 is meant to be interactive. In the back of the StrengthsFinder book, there is a code that you enter on their website to start your strength assessment.
After completing your assessment, you will be given a PDF of your report.
Seven years ago, I took the quiz and received the following report (PDF).
My strengths were as follows:
People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.
People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
While I was reading the results, I was absolutely blown away.
For my friends and co-workers who know me, this profile nailed me spot-on (which is why I held on to my report over the years).
Are you an Entrepreneur?
Along with the StrengthsFinder 2.0, there is also another book and assessment for entrepreneurs called the Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder.
The Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder (I'll call it ESF) provides a number of questions geared towards an entrepreneurial career and determines the strengths based on your answers.
Even though it's very similar to StrengthsFinder 2.0, ESF focuses more on your strengths in an entrepreneurial aspect as opposed to your personal strengths.
I also took the ESF assessment and here are my results (PDF):
- Creative Thinker
- Business Focus
Each characteristic is broken down into summarized paragraphs for each section.
It was definitely an interesting report. :-)
The funny thing about these assessment reports: There is no way to game them. They are general questions that don't hint at any of the 34 themes, but you have to answer them truthfully.
The only thing I can say about the assessments: Be honest with yourself. It's the only way to receive a complete and truthful profile of yourself. The more you put into it, the more you will receive in the long run.
I would definitely recommend the Strengths series. The best part about this "program" is the immediate feedback you get from taking the online assessment. Take the time and put the effort into discovering your inner strengths.
If you've completed a StrengthsFinder assessment, please post your comment below. Did it come out as you expected? Or did it go completely wrong?